Hohepa Community Service

What a great day!

34 Julius boys and 11 parents turned up on Sunday 16th September to help out with the annual Hohepa Homes Spring Clean.  It was a stunning Spring day, and the boys and their parents worked incredibly hard.  In fact, we finished off all the work they wanted to have completed before lunchtime, and we went on to clear up several other areas too!

It was also wonderful to see Julius boys interacting with the Hohepa staff and residents.  Well done everyone – I was very proud!

Two key events…

Good morning everyone

I hope you are all well, and adjusting to the changing weather!

We are now halfway through Term Three.  Senior Exams are next week, Winter sport is almost completed, and our thoughts are turning to Summer sports and the selection process for the prefects and Head / Deputy Heads of House for 2019.  Two Julius students have been nominated for Head / Deputy Head Prefects, which is wonderful, and seven of our Year 12 cohort have put their hands up to be considered for Head / Deputy Head of House.  We are very lucky to have such depth of talent at Year 12, and indeed throughout the House.  The Head of House applicants will be giving a speech to the House shortly, and each student will then vote for their preference.  This will be followed up with an interview, and then myself and the Assistant Housemasters will make the final decision.  These are key roles in the House going forward, and it is important that we get the best.

Just a quick reminder about two key events coming up, to which you are all warmly invited to attend:

Sunday September 16th – Community Service day at Hohepa Homes (Canterbury).  Hohepa is the Julius House charity.  Over the years we have built up a relationship with Hohepa Homes in Barrington, and we now have an opportunity to contribute to this wonderful organisation again as part of their Spring clean-up between 11-3pm.  BBQ lunch provided.  Families welcome.

Wednesday September 19th – The Julius House quiz night, for parents and students.  Come in, form a team, and test your knowledge in a fun-filled evening, and a great way to end the term.  Details to follow.

Thank you very much again for your support of College, and of Julius House.  Please remember to email me if you need to discuss anything, or have any concerns whatsoever.  After seven months I’m finally getting to grips with this important role, and it has been wonderful getting to know the boys, and many of the parents and families.

Thanks again

Third Term Events, and other stuff

Good afternoon everyone

It’s August already!  Wow!  Life at College continues to be busy, with many of the Winter sports coming to an end soon and leading into playoffs and finals.

The great feeling in Julius remains strong.  Over the past few weeks we have continued to do well in the various House Sports competitions, with plenty of students representing us strongly.  It’s great to see so many young guys volunteering for different activities, and trying things out.

I also hear that we have been very heavily over-subscribed for next year, with a large number of next year’s Year Nine students requesting to come into our House.  Unfortunately we cannot take them all, but it is great to see that we remain one of the most preferred Houses.

Over the next few weeks I will be meeting all of the Senior students on an individual basis, to check in with them and see how they are tracking for NCEA, and get their thoughts on what they will do next year.

And I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at a couple of upcoming events!

First, we have the annual House Play competition.  This is always a great night, and a great showcase of our dramatic talent.  Julius House will be performing on Monday 13th August, in the Assembly Hall.  As usual, we will provide drinks and nibbles beforehand in the House for any parents who want to come in early and say hi.  Drinks start at 5pm, the House Plays start at 6:30pm.  Don’t miss this excellent evening!

The other key event this term is the annual Julius House quiz.  Apparently this was a great night last year, so we are hoping to have as many of you there as possible.  It will be held on Wednesday 19th September in the Chapman Room here at College, beginning at 7pm sharp.  Please feel free to come in from 6:30pm onwards, and we will have drinks and soft drinks available.  We will also provide nibbles and savouries from about 8pm.  This event involves students and parents, and is therefore a whole of house celebration.  More details to come, but please bookmark this date in your diary.

Otherwise, please feel free to contact me anytime if you have any thoughts or queries, or would just like to chat!

Thanks again


The colder weather has hit!

Hi again everyone

Winter has finally arrived!  But things haven’t slowed down any!

Congratulations to both of our Junior and Senior volleyball teams, who got to the semi-final stage of the House volleyball competition before being knocked out.  Our mighty debating team is also doing very well, and competing in the semi-finals next week.  The annual dodgeball competition against Harper House has begun, with the Year 9 / 10 team unfortunately losing 2-1 in a hard fought match on Monday.  It is the Year 11 team’s turn to get us back on track next week before the Year 12 / 13 team finishes the job for us the week after!

We have also been trying to start our pool and table tennis competitions in the House at lunchtimes, but what with haka practices, inter-house competitions, rehearsals, chanting practice and a host of other activities, this has proved very difficult.  What is great to see though, is the reduction in gaming at lunchtimes due to the high number of activities being offered.  We also have a high number of students in bands, practising for the annual Rockquest competition coming up very soon, and three guys in the First XV playing tomorrow against CBHS.

Good luck, and stay warm everyone!

Term Two has started with a hiss and a roar!

Hi again

Life at College never seems to slow down!  Term Two has begin with the start of the Winter sports season, parent teacher interviews, two Julius parent functions and the Senior production West Side Story.

First, a huge thank you to Murray and Tonia Salt for opening the doors to their stunning Sumner property a couple of weeks ago for a Julius parent function.  You are wonderful hosts, and Rheon and Kynan were awesome!  Thank you so very much for your hospitality.  It was wonderful to see a great bunch of parents there too, keeping alive the Julius spirit!

And well done to the Julius boys who were in West Side Story!  It was an absolutely outstanding production, and it was great to see several Julius boys up on the stage, demonstrating huge talent.

You may be interested to know about several initiatives we are currently running in the House:

The leadership team met in Week One, and are due to meet again next week.  This is an excellent forum for the boys, myself and the Assistant Housemasters to discuss how things are going, and to make plans for the future.  The boys on this committee have had several excellent suggestions.

Unfortunately we cannot set up a basketball hoop outside the House, near the Chapel.  Instead, we now have Mondays and Thursdays as gaming-free days in the House, and have booked out the gymnasium every Monday lunchtime for a run around for Julius boys only.   On Thursdays the prefects take the boys for games on Upper.

We are about to begin a table tennis competition and a pool competition between year levels in the House.  We have a staff team entered in the competition.  Peter Cooper and I are feeling confident about our pool competence, but we may be shown up a bit at table tennis!

The history of Julius House is important, and to help our students feel a sense of that we are doing several things.  We are updating our Honours Boards in the House, and getting three new ones made – those Julius old Boys who passed away in WWI,  in Vietnam, and one made up with the names of the nine Housemasters since 1909.  We are also getting a book made up which lists all of the Julius boys who received Sports and Cultural colours, and academic prizes over the years.  Finally, we are  getting the last 20 years of Julius House photos framed and hung on the wall, and a big picture of Bishop Julius hung on the stairs.

We have begun to clean out the small room at the very top of the house, and will use it as a quiet study room for students.  No gaming, no talking!

And of course we are still accepting ideas for our new motto.  We have received a great deal of feedback to date, so if you would like to contribute an idea, please send it in to me.  By the end of this term I will have put together a short list which I will then circulate amongst the wider Julius community for feedback.  In particular the Julius Old Boy community seems quite interested in this, which is wonderful.

Please remember to get in touch with me if you have any concerns or suggestions, or just want to talk about your son.  I am always happy to talk with parents about how things are going.

We haven’t yet locked in the date for the annual quiz night which will take place in Term Three.  But it is coming, so get ready!

Thank you very much


Welcome to the New Year!

A very warm welcome to all of the Julius whanau, and particularly to the new boys in Year Nine!

This year, Julius will be without its much-loved Housemaster, Ben Vink.  Ben, as most of you will know, has moved into a Boarding Housemaster role with Flowers House.  So he is certainly not lost to College – we wish him and Melissa all the best in his new and challenging role.

However, with change comes opportunity.  This year Julius has a new Housemaster – Mike Field.  Mike comes to Julius and College with a history in the education, charitable and business sectors.  In addition to his role as Julius Housemaster, Mike is also teaching Year 10 Innovation and Enterprise, and Agribusiness in Years 12 and 13.  He is also MIC Basketball for College, so is looking forward to a busy year!

Julius is fortunate to retain the services of existing Assistant Housemasters Nikki Bleyandaal, Peter Cooper, Susan Harding and David Chambers for 2018, so we have plenty of continuity and experience.  Gill Kilpatrick has also moved to Flowers House with Ben, but we welcome newby Olivia Austin to Julius and to Christ’s College.  Olivia is beginning her teaching career at College after a successful teaching practice here last year, and joins Nikki in the English Department.

This year promises to be as busy and rewarding as ever!

Julius House Prize Giving

Keep Thursday the 30th of November available. The Julius House Prize giving will be on the Quad and will begin at 4pm. All parents are invited.

Julius House Play ‘Screw Your Courage’

Well done to Sam Mackay and the cast of the harrowing ‘Screw Your Courage’ play. Sam won an award for his leadership in the directing of the play and the way in which he used technology in the direction of  ‘Screw Your Courage’. Congratulations to Simon Brown who picked up an acting award for the way in which he played his role. Congratulations to Sam, Angus Wheelans, Tim Goodman and Josh Mortensen who won an award for their scene within the play.  George Lacey-Metcalfe’s performance also deserves recognition for the great way he played his lead role.

It was fantastic to see the support that the boys gave to the play and the leadership displayed by Sam, Angus Wheelans, Simon and others. It was great that once again the seniors included the juniors within the play and worked hard to put on a polished performance.

House Touch/Football and Play

On this Saturday the 9th of September all boys are expected to attend the Touch and Football Inter-house competition. This is a compulsory event. The competition starts at 12.30pm (usually finishes at 4pm) and will be held at the Christ’s College Cricket Grounds, next to the Hagley Oval. Boys are expected to wear House uniform. Parents are welcome to come and watch. The competition has changed from 7 a side rugby due to the amount of injuries that were taking place, particularly to the non-rugby players.
On Thursday the 14th of September starting at 6.30pm and finishing at 9pm is Julius’ night on stage at House play. Once again, this is compulsory attendance for the boys. Parents are welcome to attend. They will need to be at school by 6pm. I would also like to thank Sam Mackay who has done an outstanding job of Directing the play with the help of his Year 13 and Year 12 team.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

Mr Vink leaving for Flower’s House

As many of you will already be aware I will be leaving Julius and taking on the role as Housemaster of Flower’s House for 2018. I have to say that it was not an easy decision. I have really enjoyed my time at the helm of Julius.

However, by the end of the year I will have been in the role for eight years and it is time for a change. As I said to the boys on the announcement of the change, I have always asked for them to challenge and push themselves out of their comfort zones. It therefore only makes sense that I role model those values myself.

I am proud of the changes that we as a community of staff, parents and especially the boys have made within Julius over the years. We are known as a House that allows the boys to flourish and to accept that as individuals we are all different. At the same time, as a community we pull together and work as a cohesive unit. In recent years we have displayed this in the major events such as athletics, singing, haka and house plays.

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